The WTO, its members and key international aid and development organizations will conduct the Second Global Review of Aid for Trade — aimed at expanding the trade capacity of developing countries — on 6-7 July 2009 in Geneva.
The Second Global Review will evaluate progress made since the First Review, held in November 2007, and scrutinize how Aid for Trade is being put into operation in the field. Progress in securing additional, predictable financing will be discussed and views exchanged on how aid flows can be maintained against the backdrop of the global recession.
The four key objectives of this Second Global Review are:
Moving from commitment to implementation: The meeting will asses how is Aid for Trade making good on its promise as the agenda moves from commitment of funds (increase of 10% annually since 2005 and funding pledges today standing at more than $25 billion annually; non-concessional loans add an additional $27 billion) to implementation in concrete projects at multilateral, regional and national level.
Integrating trade in national and regional development strategies: The meeting will analyze how can trade be better integrated into core national and regional development strategies, what are the obstacles and how this process can be encouraged.
Sustaining aid flows during the global economic downturn: This Review will study the impact that the global economic downturn is having on Aid for Trade flows, how can donors be persuaded to engage long term through additional and predictable financing, and what role can emerging South-South donors play in Aid for Trade.
Assessing the effectiveness of Aid for Trade: The Geneva gathering will try to find what conclusions are emerging on the results and effectiveness of Aid for Trade so far. The second joint OECD/WTO monitoring report “Aid for Trade at a Glance”, to be published coinciding with the Second Global Review, highlights that the Aid for Trade initiative has already made remarkable progress.
“This Aid for Trade meeting is designed to support developing countries as they seek to better integrate into the multilateral trading system and to take advantage of export opportunities. This is even more relevant today: Aid for Trade is needed to prepare poor countries to exit the crisis. This is no time to fail our development promises,” said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
“The Doha Development round will result in concrete market opening opportunities for developing countries but without adequate capacity, many countries will be unable to seize these opportunities and consequently be unable to use trade as a tool for development and poverty alleviation”.
“Countries need infrastructure, enhanced production capacity and trade-related training which is essential if trade is to be streamlined into development and poverty reduction strategies in the developing world. The Aid for Trade initiative is designed to go hand-in-hand with an ambitious and development friendly outcome to the Doha round,” Mr. Lamy said.
Mr. Lamy said the WTO and its Aid for Trade partners needed to build upon the progress achieved so far in regional and international aid for trade forums while enhancing the role of the private sector, private foundations and civil society to broaden the base of experiences and resources devoted to trade and development.